Fraserburgh manager on his most difficult team selection in four years

Fraserburgh manager Mark Cowie

Fraserburgh manager Mark Cowie faces the agonising choice of which players will miss out on the historic cup tie against Rangers at Bellslea tomorrow.

Cup fever is sweeping through the town.

It may be one of the biggest occasions seen at the club but, for some of the Fraserburgh players, disappointment lies ahead as Cowie faces up to the problem of deciding who will get the nod to face Graeme Murty’s Light Blues in the noon kick-off.

It is a decision the Broch manager has spent the week agonising over.

Cowie said: “It’s a nightmare for me because I have 20 fit guys all of a sudden as for the first time I can remember there are no niggles or strains. Credit to my guys as they a have given me one massive headache for the game.

“Everyone in the squad has done everything they can to be part of it.

“They will be part of the day but of course only a maximum of 14 of them will be able to kick a ball against the Rangers.

“There are going to be a few disappointed guys but that is part-and-parcel of being the manager so I have to take the big decisions.”

The challenge is a daunting one for the Highland League part-timers but Cowie has challenged his players to show no fear against the Glasgow giants.

A passionate and partisan atmosphere awaits the Ibrox team and Cowie is urging his players to revel in the occasion as they claim their reward for making it through the first three rounds.

He added: “We can go on and enjoy it now as it was difficult to concentrate on the Highland League games with the likes of Fort William and Inverurie with the Rangers tie in the background.

“Now we know the next game is the Scottish Cup tie we have all been looking forward to and it’s time to take the shackles off the guys.

“We want to enjoy it as that’s what it’s all about. Some people have said we should stay away from the media hype and not let things interfere with training but the guys deserve the exposure.

“It quite possibly might not happen again unless we get another lucky year in the cup so it’s an experience they must make the most of. They are playing against a top-class team who will come up with the strongest side they can put out.

“But we have to enjoy that challenge. We have the chance to show that we are a good side.

“You never know what can happen as all the pressure is on Rangers as nobody in their right mind expects us to win.”

For the Broch’s Aberdeen-supporting manager, tomorrow’s game is the highlight of his four-year career.

But he is relishing the chance to test himself.

He said: “I’m an Aberdeen fan and would have loved to come up against Derek McInnes.

“But Rangers is probably a bigger tie.

“Getting one of those three – Celtic, Rangers or Aberdeen – is doing well, though.”